Lawyers Fight over Clergy Sex Abuse Case

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Gallup Independent
September 24, 2009

SHIPROCK — Judge Genevieve Woody of the Shiprock District Court will decide whether a clergy sex abuse lawsuit will move forward in the Navajo Nation’s court system.

According to legal arguments presented during a court hearing on Tuesday, Woody will decide whether the Navajo Nation courts have jurisdiction over the case, which involves the alleged sexual abuse of a Navajo teenage boy in the 1980s by Charles “Chuck” Cichanowicz, a former Catholic Franciscan priest assigned to the Christ the King parish in Shiprock. Woody will also decide whether the statute of limitations has or has not expired in the case.

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